Top White House aide Michael Caputo confirmed that the jig is up for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has come under fire for ordering nursing homes in the state to accept COVID-19 patients.
Cuomo tried to shift the blame for the catastrophic decision to the Trump administration, but Caputo placed the responsibility firmly in Cuomo’s lap in a statement issued to the New York Post on Friday.
He can’t get away with it
Donald Trump has maintained a cordial and cooperative relationship with Cuomo throughout the coronavirus crisis as the state was slammed by the largest virus outbreak in the nation.
However, new evidence is surfacing, showing that Cuomo is directly responsible for the preventable deaths of thousands of New Yorkers.
According to the Associated Press on Friday, more than 4,500 recovering COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes across the state under Cuomo’s executive order.
Health experts and policymakers knew as far back as January that COVID-19 disproportionately targets those above the age of 65, and the Cuomo administration still chose to rubber-stamp a policy that could only have had disastrous effects.
Cuomo finally reversed the executive order in mid-may — after COVID-19 had been ravaging care homes across the state for over six weeks.
Caputo, who is the assistant secretary for public affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services, said that “Leadership is about good and sound judgment. Gov. Cuomo exercised misguided leadership. He’s responsible for this nursing home problem, and the deaths are on his hands.”
Cuomo addressed the growing scandal on Wednesday, saying that “I’m not going to get into the political back-and-forth, but anyone who wants to ask why did the state do that with COVID patients in nursing homes, it’s because the state followed President Trump’s CDC guidance.”
Caputo pushed back against Cuomo’s attempt to dismiss calls for investigation, saying that “it’s a betrayal of trust. Instead of being transparent, he’s shifting blame. If there’s a category for blame-shifting, Cuomo should get an Oscar.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo tried to argue that the state’s hospitals did not have the capacity to treat coronavirus patients, and thus “they have to be transferred.”
The spokesperson and Cuomo himself have still not addressed the fact that the Navy hospital ship, USNS Comfort, and four field hospitals were planned to add thousands of beds city-wide. The state barely utilized those resources, instead forcing nursing homes had to accept those patients.